The next morning we woke at a reasonable time, 7:00 AM instead of 5 or 6. Our first order of business was a quick tour of Aswan dam. The dam was built in 1968 and provides electrical power for about 1/4 of Eqypt. The dam controls the water flow of the spring floods that used to flood the valley every year and provide a layer of fresh silt for new crop growth. Having the dam provides Egypt with a double-edged sword. On one hand it provides power, water, and flood control. On the other it stops the regular layering of silt that is important to the farmers economic growth. Now days the farmers rely on more fertilizers that were not as common in older times. While at the dam Margie took a few photos of the project. While she was taking photos, a guard came by and told us we couldn't use a zoom lens to take pictures. I had noticed a military installation on the bus ride to the dam but thought nothing of it. I guess they didn't want spies to have free reign. I didn't think much of it until later when we left for Israel...
After our return to the boat, we cast off and headed for Kom Ombo. Kom Ombo is a temple ruin that was built in 2 BC by Ptolemy VI although the outer walls were constructed by Augustus after 30 BC. The temple is divided into 2 sections. One for Sobek, the crocodille-god, and the other half for Haroeris, Horus the Elder, the falcon-god.
1. Hieroglyhics of Haroeris and Sobek, 2. Outer temple walls, 3. Closer detail of columns leading to inner temple, 4. Detail of colums, 5. Column detail, note colors of original paints and water line of Nile floods, 6. Boat of Haroeris, 7. Egyptian counting system
Our boat left Kom-Ombo and headed for Al Kab, which Margie and I skipped. (Too dogged tired). This was a settlement area and contains the remains of the temple of Nekheb, a smaller temple of Horus the falcon-god.
In the evening out boat headed for Edfu, the location of the Temple of Horus. Our boad would not dock again until after midnight. During our cruse we saw one of the most spectacular sunsets we have ever seen. The photos don't do justice to the awe inspiring sight of the sun setting and producing over arching rays of light overhead.
Boat Ride and Edfu
After dinner the entire ship would be gathering for a celebration. We were going to have a Galabayya party. What is a Galabayya? Have you ever seen a man wear a dress in the middle east? That is basically what a Galabayya is. A long dress for men and women. Better ones are worn by natives. The cheaper and gaudier ones are for tourists only. This party was the equivalent of a costume party. Fun and very unusual.
1 - Arrival in Cairo
Day 2 - Tour of the Citadel, Egyptian Museum, Coptic Cairo, and the Bazaar
Day 3 - Visit to Giza Plateau to view the Pyramids, and Sphinx. To Memphis and Saqqara
Day 4 - Flight to Abu Simbel, Aswan city, Felucca ride around Kitchners Island
Day 5 - Tour of Aswan, Cruse down Nile to Kom Ombo and Edfu
Day 6 - Tour of Edfu, Esna Lock and on to Luxor
Day 7 - Tour Valley of the Kings, Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, Colossi of Memnon
Day 8 - Tour Luxor, Karnak Temple and Luxor Temple